I read with interest (Lynn News, January 23) on the possibility of spies guiding the Zeppelins 100 years ago.
Quite probably, the “gentleman of considerable social standing living close to here”, was Holcombe Ingleby, MP, residing at Sedgeford Hall.
He in turn had written to The Times of his own accounts of the situation (which is why he may have stayed anonymous).
In the first letter he recounts: “The Zeppelin is stated to have been accompanied by two vehicles. These cars occasionally sent upward double flashes .... which lit up the church on which the Zeppelin attempted to drop a bomb.
“After this attempted piece of wanton mischief the Zeppelin made for King’s Lynn, and here again further evidence that it was accompanied by a car with powerful lights which were at one time directed on the Grammar school.
“The car was stopped in the town and attention was called to lights as a breach of regulation. Having put them out the driver turned the car quickly around and made off at rapid pace for the open country.”
His second letter was in answer to those who were already discrediting the car headlight guidance stories from across the county.
He recounts further evidence that such activity had indeed been witnessed taking place from the Sixpenny Hole road junction due east of Snettisham church, by a family living nearby on higher ground. Having already seen the lights and heard the overhead hum, he writes: “The whole family now came out of the house and they saw a number of flashes coming from Sixpenny Hole. The Zeppelin then flashed, apparently in answer, and as it came up the motor flashed once more and then disappeared down a lane to the south which for some way is on a bee line to Sandringham ... Next door to this cottage lives Sir Edward Green’s keeper, a man of considerable education and thoroughly reliable.
He confirms the essential part of this story.”
Whether there were spies active in the area or collaborators or, simply, irresponsible ‘rubber-necks’, we will never know now.